Information-silk Official Team Name
Information-silk Team Aliases
High Lords,[1] X-Ternals[2]
Information-silk Status
Information-silk Identity
Information-silk Universe
Information-silk Current Members
Information-silk Former Members
Information-silk Enemies
Information-silk Origin
A group of immortal mutants (deemed a sect)[1]
First appearance

Quote1 Forever vying for political and monetary control over the destiny of this planet. Each of us aware that to truly gain such complete control requires mastery over time itself. For what sense is there in gaining power over your own destiny? Quote2
-- Saul


Origins and Early Years

The Externals are a loose-knit group of nine, possibly ten members of an immortal subspecies of mutants that not only share immortality but a connection to each other that separates them from other immortals.[1][5][6][7]

Because the Externals' origins are scattered throughout history, as far as Selene[8] born 17,000 years ago, and Apocalypse[9] who was born 12,000 years after, it is unknown when they first banded together.

Though unknown when they came together as Externals, likely Saul, Nicodemus and possibly but to a lesser extent Crule did the earliest. Together they manipulated events behind the scenes on a global scale, with the goal of political and monetary control over the destiny of Earth.[1][10] Their earliest known activity was during the mid-to-late 11th century when they tried to recruit fellow External Candra, but preferring to play the power broker alone, she declined.[11]

Near the end of the 19th century Saul and Nicodemus in addition to Burke, Gideon, and Absalom had become a form of authority overseeing the other Externals. They kept the peace and opposed anyone who interfered with their plans, but especially expected to kill any who would dare kill another External, taking their power and potentially godhood.[2][12][13]

In 1897 when they learned that Candra planned to stop En Sabah Nur's rise to power and take his ability to fold space for herself. Unwilling to physically act against her, they instead sent Dr. Nathan Milbury, who worked for En Sabah Nur, to deal with Candra.[14]

After Candra made it to En Sabah Nur’s sanctum beneath the pyramids outside of Banī-Mazā in Egypt, with the help of her Thieves Guild she began to translate the text. Dr. Nathan Milbury, with a time traveling Gambit and Courier, arrived to stop her via Milbury’s transport ship. Choosing to bring down En Sabah Nur's sanctum instead of fighting and stealing his powers, delaying his gratification to a later day, Milbury quickly overpowered Candra with his new-found metamorphic abilities. Defeated, she begged for him to stop, and as he did he revealed the five High Lords who appeared as the reason behind her loss. Candra tried to explain herself but her actions against a fellow External, even one as radical as En Sabah Nur, they would not allow. For their greater glory awaited the Millennial Dawn,[15][16][17] and Candra put that at risk so they punished her.[14]

Modern days

In more recent years, the Externals were searching for their next member. Gideon long believed the next External was the hero Sunspot, and had positioned himself in Sunspot's life even before his heroic career. Later, when Sunspot's team, the New Mutants, was at a point of collapse, Gideon orchestrated the death of Sunspot's father in order to allow Sunspot to leave the team and join him. Unaware of Gideon's true purpose and actions, Sunspot agreed.[18][1]

At the same point the time-travelling mutant Cable had taken leadership of the New Mutants and renamed them X-Force, as he believed, based on his travels through time, that the mutant Cannonball might be an External. When Cannonball was killed by the villain Sauron and later revived, the Externals sensed Cannonball to potentially be one of their own as well.[19]

Gideon sent Crule to kill Cable, so that the Externals could easily capture Cannonball, but Crule was defeated. X-Force then confronted Gideon, revealing the truth and freeing Sunspot. Cannonball was made to promise not to interfere with Externals' affairs, although later Saul kidnapped three of X-Force's members in order to blackmail Cannonball into joining them. X-Force nevertheless defeated Saul and Gideon.[20][21]

Legacy Virus

Months later, several Externals peaceably sought Cannonball to join them yet again. They hoped that Cannonball might hold a key to solving the Legacy Virus that killed their members Nicodemus and Burke, but Cannonball could not help them.[5]

Murdered by Selene

Later still, Gideon sent a distress call to X-Force after being betrayed by the External Selene. For reasons of her own, Selene was suddenly killing the remaining members of the Externals, absorbing their life forces. Despite the efforts of X-Force, Selene ultimately escaped, but not before summarily dismissing the assumption that Cannonball was an External, calling into question Cable's conclusion and the reasons for it.[6]

The Newer Mutants

The Externals were later revealed to be alive and well once again, only now they are at the mercy of a mysterious new killer who was somehow connected to the timestream. To investigate this odd occurrence, Cable assembled a new team of mutants in hopes of discovering the killer's identity. Initial suspicions were directed towards Selene, given her complex history with both her own kind and the X-Men. While aware of the killer's presence, having sensed the death of fellow External Candra, she laughed aloud at Cable's assumption that Selene herself was the last of her kind. Nicodemus, Absalom, and Crule then revealed themselves to be alive.[22]


  • The Externals shares a psychic-link with each other that allows them to not only sense each other and where, but when one rises from the dead and when one is killed by another External.[19][12][22][7] This ability seems stronger with the eldest among the Externals.
  • It was revealed that the Externals can only die at the hands of a fellow External, and in doing so that External absorbs the essence of their brethren gaining godhood.[6][7].
    • But when an External kills another and fails to kill all the other Externals, he/she losses the power they gained and the fallen Externals come back to life.[23][24][13]
  • Whether or not Apocalypse and Cannonball are Externals remains a point of contention.[3] En Sabah Nur is known to be extremely long-lived, while some of Sam Guthrie's future versions, including a conversation with Graymalkin where we learn that Cannonball lived well into the 24th century,[1] were shown to survive into the future. Besides this, the other Externals also sensed that Cannonball was one of them.[1] It was later confirmed that Apocalypse was indeed an External.[4]
  • When answering Doop, Cable stated that Cannonball wasn't an External and that it was only a rumor.[25] The ambiguity of Cannonball's status as an External was used as a source of humor years later. After he rapidly recovered from a Purifier attack, one of the X-Men's students, David, asked Beast about it, and McCoy said Sam was immortal. David admitted after witnessing Cannonball's resurrection that he wasn't sure if McCoy was joking or not.[26]
  • The Externals immortality does not become active when their mutant powers do, but rather when they meet their first death.[1]
    • This would explain why Nicodemus and Saul, though in incredible shape[27], are physically older then the rest of their fellow Externals.[1]


  • At one point it was revealed that each External was claimed to represent an intangible concept: Burke fortitude, Absalom despair, Nicodemus wisdom, Saul patience, Gideon opportunity, Crule ferocity, Candra guile, Selene corruption and Cannonball hope.[5] Although an External Apocalypse's concept has yet to be revealed but speculation by fans is it's either destruction or evolution.
  • Cable believed the group has gone by both Externals and High Lords though prefer Externals over the latter[1]. Other then Cable calling Cannonball and his future Apocalypse High Lord[28][17] only the six that had banded together called themselves the High Lords.[28][29][1][15][10][30][17][5]
    • Though the six had become a type of authority among the other Externals and they possibly used the title High Lords to represent that, the High Lords are not a separate group but a moniker they began using most likely when they started to band together.
    • Other then calling Cannonball High Lord most likely in hopes he'll join them, they have never referred to Selene, Candra or Apocalypse as such nor have they referred to themselves using that moniker, with the possible exception of Apocalypse.

See Also

Links and References


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